The USDA's Meat Animal Research Center has released a new chart that will help ag producers spot signs of heat distress in cattle, often before it reaches a serious stage.

  The new chart is called a "panting scale"

 According to FarmTalkNews.com, the new chart resembles a wind chill chart. The cattle are rated on a scale from 0 to 6, with 0 or 1 being little or no stress, and 6 being near death.  Much of it involves panting or respiratory behavior in the cattle.

 Farm Talk listed the new scale:

 "Score 0: Normal respiration, no sign of heat stress

• Score 1: elevated breathing rate, restless, spend increased time standing

• 2 Score: elevated breathing rate, slight drooling, most animals standing in pen and restless, animals may group together

• 3 Score: elevated breathing rate, excessive drooling or foaming, most animals standing in pen and restless, animals may group together

• 4 Score: elevated breathing rate, open mouth breathing, possible drooling, most animals standing in pen and restless, animals may group together

• 5 Score: elevated breathing rate with pushing from flanks, open mouth breathing with tongue protruding, possible drooling, most animals standing in pen and restless

• 6 Score: open mouth breathing with tongue protruding,breathing is labored, respiration rate may decrease with pushing from flanks while breathing, head down, not necessarily drooling, individual animals may be isolated from herd."

USDA officials also included some information for 'easier' ways to help cool down cattle, that can help prevent them from reaching these elevated stages.

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